I am passionate about sharing my knowledge as a therapist on mental health and emotional health – empowering people with the skills and confidence to lead a truly exceptional life.
Whether I am speaking as an author about my life in the slums of Cambodia, as a guest speaker on emotional well-being and practical self-care strategies, a conference presenter on mental health, or Professional Development to schools and companies, I am known for my raw, honest and comfortable approach to the microphone.
I am so fortunate to have been invited as a public speaker at various conferences, events, festivals, on television and radio, all around the world from Italy to Australia and New Zealand, and across Asia including Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Philippines and China.
I rarely get nervous speaking in front of crowds, in fact if I am being honest, I absolutely love it, with one exception – TEDx! Did I love it? Well absolutely, what a high. But was I nervous? Oh my goodness! This is public speaking at a whole new level and to top it off this was my first major public speaking event! If I was going to become a public speaker, why not start at the top?
TEDx Phnom Penh
‘Dance Your Life Around’
– The power of music and dance to heal a broken generation in Cambodia.
Presenting at TEDx was flat out terrifying. The strict time limit, the fact that it goes live worldwide, and to add to the pressure I decided I wanted my amazing boss, the shy and humble Cambodian-American deportee KK to join me for an interview AND I invited a group of teenagers to choreograph a dance piece of their true life stories to bring up on to the stage. So it was not just my speech I needed to worry about, but explaining the importance and prestige to ‘my kids’ – street kids who worry about where their next meal is coming from, and me feeling slightly ridiculous panicking over schedules, timing, and precision.
In the end, they were amazing, of course. They are always amazing. This was the first time they had choreographed themselves and told their stories the way they wanted to. This short piece of choreography was the inspiration of what became a 90-minute theatre production that toured to Melbourne Australia in 2012 and Auckland New Zealand in 2013.
I get a real buzz from presenting at education conferences because I am aware of the great impact I can have on large groups of international teachers at once. I can share, upskill and empower educators to confidently take home a new toolkit of knowledge. The Cultures of Thinking conference in Australia and the PHASE Asia Pacific (Physical Education, Health & Wellness, Athletics, Sports, and Experiential Learning) conference in Hong Kong are two such examples where I got to share my resources on mental health and social-emotional learning, where the teachers became the students and remembered how scary it can be to feel like a lost teenager. Importantly, they leave the conference inspired, confident and resourced to empower all students – and this is where the biggest impact of all can be made.